North American Dipterists Society 2013 Field Meeting

Registration form [pdf] [doc]

Host and facilities

The Mississippi Entomological Museum (MEM) at Mississippi State University, adjacent to Starkville, is pleased to host the 2013 meeting scheduled for May 17-20 (Friday–Monday).  The museum is located in the Lyle Entomology Building on the campus.  We have chosen this time because May has high insect activity and favorable collection conditions with the average high temperature ranging 82–85°F. 

We will provide a laboratory equipped with microscopes and auditorium for presentations.  We will be able to provide transportation for airport arrivals and departures, shuttles from hotel to Clay Lyle, field trips, and going to restaurants for meals.  The MEM includes about 70,000 specimens of Diptera, of which about 44,000 are identified to only family or order.  Although small in size, the collection includes many high-quality specimens collected during the past 20 years in unique habitats of southeastern U.S. 

Starkville is the typical college town with lots of restaurants, including the usual franchised locally owned ones, but also Peruvian, Middle Eastern, Thai, Japanese, and others, as well as the usual assortment of clubs.

Contact information for those of us in the MEM organizing the meeting are as follows: Terry Schiefer (; office 662-325-2989), Joe MacGown (; 662-325-9551), and Richard Brown (; office - 662-325-2990, cell - 662-694-0174).

Collecting locations

Field trips are scheduled for the Cove Preserve, Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Tombigbee National Forest, and Natchez Trace National Parkway.  For those wanting to extend their visit, other recommended sites within 2-6 hours of Mississippi State University include Bibb County Glades Preserve, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, and Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.   We will supply the necessary permits for all these locations.

The Cove Preserve (33°36'47"N 89°24'34"W) is located about 25 miles from the MEM .  The Weyerhauser Company has preserved this site because it is a biological island of rare and disjunct species.  It’s a deep ravine with a small stream bordered by beeches and other plants not in the surrounding sweetgum-pine habitat.  Diptera collected at this site include a disjunct species of Simulium, a new species of Richardiidae (Odontomera), and several species not widely occurring in Mississippi, e.g., Sphyracephala brevicornis (Diopsidae), Rivellia boscii and R. pallida (Platystomatidae), Calotarsa pallipes (Platypezidae), and Pelecocera pergandei and Merapioidus villosus (Syrphidae).

The Tombigbee National Forest (33°13'49"N 88°59'20"W) is 25 miles south of the MEM and covers 39,500 acres.  The topography varies from flat floodplains to deeply dissected hills with steep ravines. Several streams, as well as springs and seeps are present though this area.  Forests include a mixture of hardwood and pines on ridges, with slopes of ravines having a variety of oaks, hickories, magnolia, tulip poplar, beech and other species.  The high plant diversity includes 14 state-listed species because of their rarity.

Oak-hickory forest at Tombigbee National Forest in Winston County, MS

The Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge (33°16'15"N 88°47'04"W), 12 miles south of the MEM, occupies 48,000 acres and includes reservoirs, streams, cypress sloughs and other wetlands.  The refuge is dominated by four types of forests, including bottomland and upland hardwood forests, pine/hardwood forests.  Other habitats include old fields and a restored natural grassland. 

The edge of Bluff Lake at the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in Noxubee County, MS

The Natchez Trace Parkway National Parkway crosses the state but we will visit the northern part that crosses the Pontotoc Hills and enters the southern Appalachian foothills.  We will collect at the adjacent Tishomingo State Park (95 miles from the MEM) but make stops along the way to sample the wide diversity of wetlands and other habitats that are present along the Parkway.

Hardwood forest in along the Natchez Trace Parkway in northeast MS

Travel plans

For those flying, the Golden Triangle Regional Airport (GTR) services Starkville, ten miles to the west.  Transportation will be provided for those arriving at GTR if arrival times are sent to Richard Brown.  GTR has commuter flights (Delta) from Atlanta three times daily, arriving 11:40 AM, 3:54 PM, and 7:40 PM.  Ticket prices to GTR often cost $100 or more than prices for flying to Memphis, TN (2 3/4 hours drive) or Jackson, MS (2 hours drive), but this is not the case for some departures from the West Coast.  If a rental car is desired, we can take you to a rental agency in Starkville that is less expensive than the ones at the airport.  For those driving see directions and maps.


A block of rooms has been reserved at Microtel Inn in Starkville for the period of May 16 through May 20.  A discount rate of $69.00 + tax has been arranged for those identifying themselves as attending the Diptera Meeting at MSU Entomology.  The address for Microtel Inn  (33°28'10"N 88°46'05"W) is 1121 Highway 182E (not Highway 82, which is now the bypass but is still given on some websites). The hotel is across the highway from the MSU experiment farm, which is crossed by Sand Creek, and is just east of a small Cretaceous chalk outcrop with prairie flora along the highway. 

Directions and maps

Directions to Lyle Entomology Building
See and scroll to bottom of page for directions and maps.

Directions to Microtel Inn
Driving from the east on U.S. 82, take exit 182W to Starkville, and the motel on the left less than one mile from the exit.  From the west, take exit 182E for  Clayton Village, but turn right at the intersection for 182W for Microtel.

Directions from Microtel to Lyle Entomology Building
From Microtel Inn, drive west on Highway 182 for 1.7 miles, past the first entrance to MSU, to the exit for Highway 12, entering the ramp from the left lane.  Drive south on 12 for 0.6 mile, turning left onto Stone Blvd, then make an immediate right on Sheely Circle continuing straight past the fraternity houses to the T-intersection, and after a dog-leg, cross the divided Bully Blvd and bear right after the signal light to Lyle Entomology.

Registration form [pdf] [doc]

Please fill out registration form and return form by email to Richard Brown ( by 1 Mar. 2013.

Data for sites

Data will be posted for all sites visited after the meeting has concluded.